Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners. Set the pans aside.
Blend the cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, water, oil, food coloring, and eggs in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed. The batter should look thick and well combined.
Fold in the chocolate chips.
Spoon or scoop batter into each lined cupcake cup, filling it three quarters of the way full. (You will get between 22 and 24 cupcakes; remove the empty liners, if any.)
Bake the cupcakes until they spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 18 to 20 minutes.
Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes.
Run a dinner knife around the edges of the cupcake liners, lift the cupcakes up from the bottoms of the cups using the end of the knife, and pick them out of the cups carefully with your fingertips.
Place them on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes before frosting.
July 25, 2008
Baked these for Bea’s 7th birthday party (decorated to look like campfires). They were, indeed, quite red, but tasted pretty much like a box cake. The chocolate chips probably wouldn’t be missed if this were made again.